Sheltered markets ensure equal opportunities for businesses owned by women, minorities and persons with disabilities
CHICAGO –(ENEWSPF)–August 25, 2016. Governor Bruce Rauner today announced the administration has identified its first sheltered market in the IT industry. This will ensure equal opportunities are provided to all Illinois businesses contracting with the State. Many businesses owned by women, minorities and people with disabilities face barriers when contracting with the State.
“For years minority owned businesses have faced significant hurdles when contracting with the state,” Governor Rauner said. “It is our duty to change that. Creating this sheltered market gets us closer to making Illinois a place where women, minorities and persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed.”
The IT sector is one of several industries where CMS has identified continued disparities and evidence of discrimination against women and minority-owned businesses. In the coming weeks, the Department of Innovation and Technology will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the area of IT consulting services.
“Today is an historic day, as it relates to the economic expansion of Black businesses in the State of Illinois,” Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce President Larry Ivory said. “Governor Rauner, by his Executive Order, begins to reverse a trend, that has in the past, seen Black business owners suffer egregious discrimination. This Sheltered Market Initiative will begin to level the playing field in the area of Information Technology, for many qualified Black IT companies in the State of Illinois. The Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce has long been an advocate for Sheltered Markets Programs. It took the courage of this Governor, and his pro-business agenda to bring us to this day. The Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce thanks Governor Rauner for this historic step in achieving economic reciprocity for the Black Community.”
“The Governor recognizes the positive impact that business diversity can have for Illinois’ economy,” Chicago United President and CEO Gloria Castillo said. “This announcement ensures equal opportunity in contracting is provided to all Illinois businesses and is an important step toward making Illinois the nation’s most inclusive business ecosystem.”
“I applaud Governor Rauner for continuing to invest in our minority businesses,” Glen Fulton, Executive Director of the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation said. “Since taking office he has demonstrated his commitment to the minority business community, and we look forward to a continued relationship of working collaboratively to grow minority-owned businesses.”
In July, Governor Rauner signed Executive Order 2016-08 that directed the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to identify sheltered market opportunities, oversee the implementation of disparity study recommendations and increase the number of businesses owned and controlled by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities doing business with the State.
A sheltered market is a state contract that only businesses owned by women, minorities and people with disabilities will be able to bid.